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J Neurosci. 2000 Nov 15;20(22):RC107.

Cerebellar defects in Ca2+/calmodulin kinase IV-deficient mice.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


The Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase CaMKIV was first identified in the cerebellum and has been implicated in nuclear signaling events that control neuronal growth, differentiation, and plasticity. To understand the physiological importance of CaMKIV, we disrupted the mouse Camk4 gene. The CaMKIV null mice displayed locomotor defects consistent with altered cerebellar function. Although the overall cytoarchitecture of the cerebellum appeared normal in the Camk4(-/-) mice, we observed a significant reduction in the number of mature Purkinje neurons and reduced expression of the protein marker calbindin D28k within individual Purkinje neurons. Western immunoblot analyses of cerebellar extracts also established significant deficits in the phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein at serine-133, a proposed target of CaMKIV. Additionally, the absence of CaMKIV markedly altered neurotransmission at excitatory synapses in Purkinje cells. Multiple innervation by climbing fibers and enhanced parallel fiber synaptic currents suggested an immature development of Purkinje cells in the Camk4(-/-) mice. Together, these findings demonstrate that CaMKIV plays key roles in the function and development of the cerebellum.

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